Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Please note that all times are shown in the time zone of the conference. The current conference time is: 2nd Oct 2022, 08:33:47am CEST

Session Overview
D&G and Neo/materialism II
Monday, 05/July/2021:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Nick Nesbitt
Session Topics:
D&G and neo/materialism

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4:00pm - 4:30pm

Transcoding More-than-human Corporeal Territories in Artistic Practices

Justyna Stepien

University of Lodz, Poland

The paper examines sculptural works by Kiki Smith and Kate Clark inspired by the potential of new bio-scientifi–inter allia–developments and heretofore take art into unimaginable directions where the vision of what it means to be human is radically transcoded. Both human and animal–in these works–undergo constant morphogenesis becoming hybrid forms far beyond the human-social paradigm, implying that as Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari asserted “there is no longer man or animal, since each deterritorializes the other . . . in a continuum of reversible intensities . . . a circuit of states that form a mutual becoming, in the heart of a necessarily multiple or collective assemblage” [1]. The works show that both human and nonhuman bodies are raw materials not separated from one another but always interconnected with the world and its processes, which entails new models of ethics and politics that cross conventional domains of the anthropocentrism. The aim of the article is thus not to trace the historical discussion of what is animal versus what is human. In this sense, the article corresponds to Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of becoming-animal which “does not consist in playing animal or imitating an animal, it is clear that the human being does not "really" become an animal any more than the animal "really" becomes something else. Becoming produces nothing other than itself”.[2]The artists’ aim is to find new language and tools to communicate about the consequences of techno-scientific processes on our societies, establishing more empathic relation with more-than-human beings. As the paper will indicate, referring to new materialist’s readings of Deleuze and Guattari, only through the deterritorialization of the human and nonhuman territories, one can notice alternatives and potentialities that could unfold ethical and political ways of cooperation needed for the appreciation of multispecies dimension of our world and thus its survival.

Justyna Stępień is an Assistant Professor in Cultural Studies in the Department of British Literature and Culture, where she received her doctorate in 2012. In the years 2012-2019, she worked as an Assistant Professor at the English Institute of University of Szczecin. She is an author of British Pop Art and Postmodernism (2015), an editor of Redefining Kitsch and Camp in Literature and Culture (2014) and co-editor of a special issue of Open Cultural Studies Journal Transmediating Culture(s)? (2017). She is currently working on her book devoted to posthumanist artistic practices. She belongs to an international research group/ collective The Posthuman Art and Research Group (aka. Dori.O) that consists of artists and researchers from all over Europe.

[1] Deleuze, Gilles, and Félix Guattari. 1986. Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p.22.

[2] Deleuze, Gilles, and Felix Guattari. 1987A Thousand Plateaus.Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Trans. Brian Massumi. Minneapolis, London: University of Minnesota Press.p.238.

4:30pm - 5:00pm

It’s Correlationism, Baby! Deleuze beyond Meillasoux: deterritorializing transcendentalism and materialism

Carlo Negri

Independent Researcher, Italy

Is there room for a transcendental approach in materialist ontology after Meillasoux?

The aim of my paper is to answer this question, highlighting the possibility of understanding Deleuze’s project of a transcendental empiricism as a radical form of materialist ontology, which escapes the correlationist framework.

In order to do so, I stage a confrontation between Deleuze and Quentin Meillasoux.

To prepare the critical ground, I first provide an account of Meillasoux’s philosophical objective. In his groundbreaking After Finitude Meillasoux articulates his philosophical position - identified as speculative realism - in terms of a rejection of what he names correlationism: “the idea according to which we only ever have access to the correlation between thinking and being, and never to either term considered apart from the other”(Meillasoux, 2008).

Meillasoux’s speculative materialism “holds in two key statements: 1. Being is separate and independent of thought (understood in the broad sense of subjectivity); 2. Thought can think Being. Thesis number 1 is opposed to any anthropo-morphism which seeks to extend subjective attributes to being: materialism is not a form of animism, spiritualism, vitalism, etcetera”.

It is clear that Meillasoux’s engagement with materialism is a radical break with any form of transcendental approach, an attempt to rethink the themes of thought and being beyond correlationism, that is to say, beyond the subject-object dyad and its implications that (though in different ways) characterize post-Kantian philosophy in general, even Deleuze.

Indeed according to Meillasoux, Deleuze’s philosophy is a specific variant of correlationism. Deleuze is considered as a “metaphysical subjectivist who has absolutized a set of features of subjectivity, hypostatized as Life (or “a Life”), and has posed them as radically independent of our human and individual relationship to the world”(Meillasoux, 2008).

My interest in Meillasoux’s (mis)reading of Deleuze lies in the question of his supposed reliance on the subject-object dichotomy and what light Meillasoux’s interpretation sheds on Deleuze’s own arguments.

Thanks to this focus on Meillasoux, I will offer a framework for understanding Deleuze’s transcendental empiricism. I will outline Deleuze’s attempt to construct a theory of the transcendental that maintains the differentiated structure of the transcendental field, while removing the subject as the synthesizing agent.

Far from absolutizing subjectivity, I will show how Deleuze affirms a re-engagement with a materialist perspective, emphasizing the affirmation of absolute immanence over transcendence.

5:00pm - 5:30pm

Plastic Ontology: Ruyer, Deleuze, Malabou

Audronė Žukauskaitė

Lithuanian Culture Research Institute, Lithuania

The paper will examine the notion of plastic ontology as an alternative to the ontology of substances and forms. Raymond Ruyer wages a war against bounded entities, understood as pre-formed and pre-given, and asserts morphogenesis as a self-formative activity, which creates without any pre-ordered idea or plan. Ruyer’s morphogenesis is a process which carries within itself the potential for its transformation. Gilles Deleuze takes into account Ruyer’s insights when trying to explain spatio-temporal dynamism and inventing his own “method of dramatization”. Deleuze appropriates Ruyer’s theory of biological morphogenesis and turns it into the main principle of ontological development. Similarly, Catherine Malabou, drawing from biology and neurosciences, defines a notion of plasticity, which can be interpreted as an opposition to the traditional notion of form. Plasticity refers to infinite modifiability characteristic of living beings, and the capacity to change determination in one or another way. The paper will examine the main features of plastic ontology, such as processuality, indetermination, and potentiality. It also questions what consequences this ontological change has for our understanding of the individual and subjectivity. How might this ontological change affect our understanding of ourselves and of our social organisations?

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